As designers we often dream of having the good fortune of working with clients who know exactly what they want and give us carte blanche to make their visions a reality. We have designed, redesigned, updated, and minimalized; where yacht design in concerned, we thought we had seen it all. That is until we were given the opportunity to refit the 142’ Christensen Lady Bee. What made the refit of the Lady Bee especially unique and gratifying was the owners’ stylistic preferences, driving desire toward the unconventional, and their love of opulent finishes.
Our journey toward the majesty of the refitted Lady Bee began at the home of the yacht owners. Although many clients want their yachts to conform to the current trends of contemporary yacht design, the owners of the Lady Bee made it clear from the onset that they expected the style of their yacht to match the style of their life. Looking around their home and discussing their desires, it became clear to us that we were venturing into unchartered waters. We needed to completely overhaul an already-contemporary yacht interior to make it a work of opulent grandeur. What these clients wanted was a luxuriously stylized work of art that would make their yacht an extension of their home. To achieve this end, we first had to listen carefully to the owners’ wishes regarding the yacht’s interior and marry those with the contemporary feel of the yacht itself to create a harmony between the two.
Another unconventional preference of the owners that added to the magnificence of the Lady Bee was their wish for textiles of only the highest quality. Lately, there has been a trend away from fitted, quilted bedspreads that were a mainstay on yachts for many years; they have given way to more “high end hotel” style bedding. However, the owners of Lady Bee wanted traditional, fitted, quilted bedspreads; therefore, we custom designed and fabricated beautiful, elegant, quilted bedspreads and special ordered sumptuous Italian bed linens and monogrammed towels and robes. Furthermore, the client requested all fabrics used in furnishings, walls, bedspreads, and throw pillows to be of equally high quality, so we created an elegant palate using tone on tone patterns and textures that were accented with white, gold, and deep-jewel-toned blue hues. Even the white, wave-patterned carpet throughout the yacht was a custom designed and carved work of art.
Many areas of the Lady Bee were completely redesigned to meet the need and preferences of the owners. We created a beautiful, grand staircase and eliminated the unused elevator. The Sky Lounge was fitted with a new aft entry, entertainment center and bar. The Fly Bridge Deck was extended to incorporate a large bar and an additional seating area.
Finally, the owners’ love for Louisiana was obvious throughout their home, and we knew we wanted to develop this theme in the yacht. Allusions to Louisiana throughout the Lady Bee include a custom-designed, exterior tabletop with a stylized Fleur De Lis and a Master Head sink that is hand painted to include bees and Fleur De Lis. As an homage to Mardi Gras, specially-commissioned artwork by Peter O’Neill appears throughout the yacht, portraying Greek gods and goddesses arrayed with Mardi Gras accoutrement including beads in subtle purples, greens, and golds as well as carnival masks.
The Lady Bee is a testament to what can be accomplished when confident, trusting clients convey their vision with such clarity that a balance is struck between design and desire. As designers we were able to achieve our goal for the Lady Bee; we created for the owners a masterpiece upon the water to rival the artistry of their own homes. The grandeur of the owners is reflected in the opulence of the design and décor of the Lady Bee from her rare gemstones, to her sumptuous textiles, down to her satin finishes, she is and will remain an exquisitely timeless work of art.